The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with the authors, presented the findings of the Global Innovation Index 2013 Report at an event in Geneva on the 01st of July. This year’s report emphasizes local dynamics of innovation, which have remained under-measured globally. The report shows the emergence of local innovation ecosystems as key and signals a needed shift from the tendency to duplicate previously successful models without a focus on localized context.
One chapter in the Global Innovation Index 2013 Report is dedicated to the Innovation Clusters initiative of the National Innovation Council (NInC), chaired by Sam Pitroda, Adviser to PM. This initiative was launched in 2011 by NInC to create a model of local innovation ecosystems at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clusters, with a vision to transform India’s industry clusters for inclusive growth and global competition. Talking about the initiative, Sam Pitroda said “While being primary engines of inclusive growth and creators of new employment, MSMEs are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in a globalized world due to lack of technology, talent, resources, financing and capabilities needed for innovation”.
To overcome these challenges, NInC spearheaded a unique collaborative approach by establishing a Cluster Innovation Center (CIC) anchored in the local industry association, to facilitate the creation of a local innovation ecosystem. Acting as representative of the cluster, the CIC seeks collaborations with stakeholders to address the needs of the cluster, with NInC playing the facilitator in the process.
As part of the initiative, NInC is conducting a pilot of this approach in 7 MSME clusters in the country viz. Auto Components Cluster – Faridabad, Haryana, Ayurveda Cluster – Thrissur, Kerala, Bamboo Cluster – Agartala, Tripura, Biotech &Pharma Cluster – Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Brassware Cluster – Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, Food Processing Cluster – Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu and Furniture Cluster – Ernakulam, Kerala. NInC has been able to establish partnerships among 39 different institutions and these clusters, which have resulted in strengthening the innovation capabilities, productivity and growth prospects of the MSMEs. Collectively, the local ecosystems have demonstrated 10 new products, 12 process improvements and 2 new entrepreneur facilitation centers.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is one of the primary partners in this effort and has provided extensive support to the MSME clusters through its nation-wide network of labs. “CSIR under its CSIR-800 program is willing to open doors to all the technologies they have developed till now for the benefit of MSME clusters. We are keen to provide technology solutions to MSMEs for their growth” said Samir Brahmachari, Director-General, CSIR, speaking of this initiative.
Excited by the success of this initiative, NInC is now seeking more partners from both within public and private institutions to replicate this model in more MSME clusters and to scale it across the country.